Friday, February 8, 2013

KGO Radio mulling Switch back to Talk Again: But don't get too Excited

This is circulating all over the radio business--not just here, but beyond. And no, there's nothing even approaching anything imminent, but...

There are many stories making the rounds that Cumulus is mulling the idea of converting KGO back to talk and shelving news.

Before you get too excited and have a glass of champagne if the change were to be implemented, (and I sort of smelled this coming a long time ago), then the station would largely be confined to syndicated, automated out-of-market content shows that wouldn't originate here in the city.

The only local content would be, ostensibly, Ronn Owen's, 9-Noon show. And one assumes, hourly news updates. Beyond that, the rest would consist of mostly automated syndicated shows. That's the gist of what I'm hearing.

The weekend? Probably the same, but no one knows for sure. Given KGO's deep ratings fall, (combined with a catastrophic cume--and non-existent A25-54 demos), the big suits in Atlanta might have come to grip with reality that the current station, as it stands, is an utter mess that nobody is listening to.

Again, keep in mind this is only a rumor. But those in the know in and around the biz insist this has legs. Great. Gives the Atlanta Dicks to make further mud out of current muddle.


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47 comments:

  1. How many other stations in the San Francisco area market broadcast the same dredge that can be heard in Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Redding, ......

    And, if KGO goes this direction, aside from Ronnnn, what will really set them apart from all that other dredge...or do they care all that much?

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  2. Put some meat on the bones. Given which nationally syndicated programs are already airing in the Bay Area on KSFO (Huckabee/Hannity/Levin/Savage/Batchelor), KKSF (Rush Limbaugh/Len Tillem/Gil Gross/Alan Colmes), and KNEW (Dave Ramsey/Randi Rhodes), etc., who's left out there for KGO that would have much of a draw here? In other words, if you were KGO's programming manager and tasked with having to line-up nationally syndicated programming, who would you bring to the station?

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    1. Len Tillem and Gil Gross are local.

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    2. Mike Malloy and Ed Schultz.

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    3. read the article, Laurie. nationally...syndicated...programming

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    4. In Laurie's defense, she was responding to Hush Bimbo, and in Hush Bimbo's reply, Len Tillem and Gil Gross are mentioned. Both are local talk show hosts.

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    5. Exactly, thank you 9:29. That's exactly what I was saying. Maybe you should read what I'm replying to, 12:23. Len Tillem and Gil Gross are not nationally syndicated, as the original poster (Hush Bimbo) implies in his comment. They are local. I didn't realize I would have to spell it out so clearly.

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    6. Len Tillem and Gil Gross have unsellable horrible ratings. I would never want them back. Horrible and MEDIOCRE

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    7. Dennis Miller

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  3. Rich: A word about the pacing of your show. Slow down a little and collect your thoughts. You won't stutter as much and you won't talk over your guests. One small thing you can do that will make your program, which is good and getting better, even more enjoyable and informative.

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  4. Things never stay the same. The world around us is constantly changing. Radio is no different.

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  5. Who cares when we're blessed to have "Lieberman Live." Frankly, this is the best thing to happen to Bay Area radio in a long time. You're making history, baby! Yeah, you, Richie!

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    1. 'Lieberman Live: The Rich Lieberman Show' is a stroke of programming genius by the iconic Zwerling mother-and-son Santa Cruz based media dynasty. Hats off to Em-Zee for giving Rich a break.

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  6. TGIF! Gill-man the Gross-man and Rho-DUH coming up after Lieberman Live at 4 on 910 KKSF.

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    1. Hey Gross-man! For a while, Gil was "Cabinet Man," talking up his close relationship with some guy that makes customized kitchen cabinets in Hayward. Now Gil-man is touting some one-hour plumbing and electrical company. These guys are price gougers! Call them to repair a broker water heater and you'll spend more than $2,200 for a new one. Get other estimates before you let them do anything or you'll regret it. You'll end up paying double. Beware!

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  7. If it's going to be syndicated, automated shows from out of town, I say forget it! None of the syndicated shows that are played in this area have any personality or substance so I don't see how adding more of the same helps. When the next earthquake hits or the next local tragedy occurs, what good is a syndicated show to the community? Who will discuss local stories that touch the people who live here?

    Now, if KGO wants to hire some LOCAL talent, I can give them a few names who are well up for the gig:
    Christine Craft, John Rothmann, for starters. Hey, maybe even Rich Lieberman.


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    1. Rothmann is great, though his detractors might say with a grain of truth that he's a bit tightly wound.

      For KGO to condescend to give Rich Lieberman a 3-hour daily show would be their ultimate admission of the terrible programming mistake they made just over a year ago. It would be nothing less than a colossal act of abject surrender. They'd have to swallow so much pride that they'd literally choke on it. But "Lieberman Live" is arguably the best possible option for KGO to bounce back and regain the stature it once had as the preeminent talk radio station. Would Rich do it? If so, on what terms?

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    2. My suggestion John Rothman, Stacy Taylor, Christine Craft, Peter B Collins, these are my favorites in that order.

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  8. To partially quote Neil Young "The Damage Done" If this is the case what a waste of 50,000 watts. And just a friendly reminder to all non radio people "Progressive Radio" does not work you can't sell it or market it as such. The market doesn't need another attempt to make it work or even another "Right Wing" (I hate that term) radio station. My suggestion play it right up the middle.

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  9. What? more Money Talk? More Real Estate Today with Gil Gross?
    No thanks. I'll pass.

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    1. OMG! One hour on Saturdays of Gil Gross spouting endless hype about there's never been a better time to buy real estate is all anyone can stand. He's just spouting from a script of real estate propaganda as their paid mouthpiece. That and touting plumbing and electrical repair businesses. He's no longer the credible newscaster he once was. Too bad. Best avoided altogether.

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    2. hey 5:02...a 1 hour real estate show once a week does not make Gil Gross lose his newscaster creds. You are being too dramatic. He needs to make a living and probably wants to live in the Bay Area plus I'm sure that 910 (bless their hearts) aren't paying him what he got at KGO. If you don't like the real estate show don't listen to it. I am happy to have him on during the week although Rhoda on Fridays gets under my skin. I guess it's nice for her to drive into S.F. on Fridays and join her husband and perhaps spend some time in the city. I can live with it, but he is better on the radio without her.

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  10. NOT happening...just you blowing air again. Guess when there is nothing substantial to write about, you go back to fear-mongering.

    Please, "there is many stories making the rounds"? Ever proof your own stuff, Rich?

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  11. With Sirius and Pandora in my car I no longer listen to local radio. Don't even think about. Technology is killing these guys like it killed the local paper.

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  12. This was the expectation from the night in December, 2011, that the "bloodbath," made the news. Cumulus would "accede" to the wishes of the listeners, and return to talk ... on their own, CHEAP terms.

    Ho Hum.



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  13. Unless they put on some local shows with some form of the personalities that were stated in the 4:27 PM post they are really not going to witness a rebound. Syndicated programs...what do they have to choose from that means anything. I'm thinking they could add some good local talent without breaking the bank and still pay the talent reasonably.

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  14. They should apologize to and rehire all the staff they fired. Instant ratings double.

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  15. The Atlanta Dicks (Dickeys)? Is that an East Coast Hockey League franchise?

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  16. What Cumulus calls "talk radio" scares the crap out of me. I fear they'll resurrect the syndicated overnight Libertarian talk show that aired on KGO for a couple of months after the talent purge. Every commercial on that show either plugged truck stops, truck engine additives, or "essential" crap for truck drivers.
    The number of Bay Area listeners probably was in single digits.

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  17. Bernie gets out of prison soon.....there is some local talent...

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  18. Remember folks... this isn't Cumulus behind this hare-brained destruction of KGO-AM.

    This isn't a "they" we're talking about; it's a "he."

    That man is LEW DICKEY.

    LEW DICKEY, and no one else, signed off on the bulldozing of the great and financially profitable institution of KGO 810 -- not Cumulus, not a board of directors, but the head of Cumulus, LEW DICKEY. LEW DICKEY, and only LEW DICKEY, is repsonsible

    Don't let LEW DICKEY hide like a greedy sniveling coward behind his corporate curtain. Make LEW DICKEY step forward and take the heat like the man he is not. Don't allow LEW DICKEY to nap in his cozy delusion that he is doing anything productive with his life. LEW DICKEY is wasting his life torching great radio stations, and he's too much of a self-centered coward to cop to it. LEW DICKEY.

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  19. Maybe they planned this...say we're going all news when there's already a no. 1 all news station in town...fire all the great but high ticket talent...let the station go down the drain then get the inspired wisdom to bring back talk...only it's all syndicated talk and it's relatively cheap. You know, I've come to enjoy Alan Colmes crazy liberal vs. all the right wing callers show, but that's syndicated. He's in NY. I can get all of those syndicated stations mentioned on TuneIn Radio, on line or on any smart device.

    Damn it I want local people. Like an earlier poster noted, when there's an earthquake who do you want to talk to, Sean Hannity?

    Bring in Christine Craft and Jim Gabbert and John Rothmann for a two hour politics shift, and maybe Stacy Taylor. There's talent out there, I mean right here.

    And finally, Gaia bless you Gene Burns, you amazing unique irrascible gourmand agnostic language and cookie-loving Gift of the Magi Guy. How we miss you.

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  20. Stacy Taylor, Peter Collins, Christine Craft, John Rothmann, Gil Gross? Are you people serious? What KGO has going on the weekend now isn't great but this lineup sure as heck isn't better!

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    1. If you don't like mostly liberal talk show host, you have plenty of other choices like: Brian Sussman (although he is about as talentless as they come) Sean Hannity, Rush, Michael Savage, Huckabee, Barbara Simpson, shall I go on. Why shouldn't we have a diversity of opinions? Christine is liberal, but very strong on defense and gun rights, John Rothman is liberal, but many liberals don't like his stand on Israel. KSFO is all conservative, 910 is mostly conservative, if you get 650 from Sacramento, which reaches many area's in the San Francisco area (from Vallejo and further up in Solano county, many Contra Costa areas (Concord, Walnut Creek and other areas around there) they are conservative. Don't be so selfish, it is not only conservatives that like talk radio, many liberals and those in the middle does too.

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    2. P.s. I on purpose left Gil Gross out, he is already on 910, and I like him as a person, and some of his interviews are good, but the I prefer the 4 I mentioned above, add to that line-up Pat Thurston and Brian Copeland. Dump the comedian from New York, she might be liberal, but she is terrible. Of course Gene Burns would be on the list, before or equal to John Rothman, unfortunately I don't think he will be back on the radio, but I sure miss his take on the issues. He always made (almost always) sense, even when I didn't agree with him. He was neither conservative nor liberal, he was unpredictable which made him so fascinating.

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    3. note to 7:34....totally disagree with you. The names you mentioned, for the most part, would be so much more interesting than what is on now, however, I still like Michael Finney, the Saturday travel show, Copie and Thurston. It's Monte and Karel that drag it down. However, none of the greats who left will ever be back to KGO and probably KGO will never be the high quality radio that it once was. Too bad because of the far reach that it has.

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    4. whether or not you think these people are interesting doesn't make them good. just because i don't think they are very good does not then me i like right wing radio. i have heard every host mentioned here, and only a few do a decent job. i don't think copie, thurston, monte, or karel can carry a 5 day a week show, nor do i think any of those other folks could either. i just don't find any of them all that interesting, and if they were they would have found work elsewhere. i couldn't even put them in a ranked order because they are all so average. the real question is how come KGO hasn't been developing talent with their weekends the last year or so? what new talent have they brought to the table? I haven't heard any of it!

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  21. This should be no surprise at all. From what I've read, Cumulus does this sort of thing many times over. They buy a station, fire most of the on-air talent, convert to news or other format that they "say" the audience wants to listen to and then, when ratings tank, they dump said format in favor of cheap, automated, syndicated stuff. I did not believe, for one minute, when KGO went mostly news in Dec 2011, that it was because listeners wanted more news. Sadly, what happened (and what may still happen) has turned a very successful radio station into a pile of something very very smelly.

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  22. Given the number of stations Cumulus has, they could do worse than finding some top local talent in its various markets who could appeal or at least not alienate the left, right or middle and put them out nationwide.

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  23. turn "red eye radio" into" I've got a black eye radio"

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  24. This all news format i knew wouldn't last. Not sure what local talent to hire, but anybody local is better than the mostly right-winged syndicated crap. BTW, not a huge Ronnnnnnnn fan, but how much does he talk in a typical hour? Maybe 20 minutes? You have the news top of the hour, then a bunch of commercials, the news at the quarter hour, more commercials, the news at the half, more commercials, then the news at the 3/4 mark. Insane!!

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  25. I'm going to get 'Tsk-Tsk'ed for liking schmaltz. I can almost hear the eye rolling too. I like the Gill Gross and Rhoda Show, 910am on fridays, There! I said it. I like that they enjoy each other's company. Even me, as a gay man can say that without irony or malice. They love their son, and their jobs. Seem to be pleasant people, capable of playing mean when mean is needed. They don't pretend to be infalible, what fun is that anyway?

    I like public displays of contentment every so often. I don't consider positivity or sunnyness a sign of low IQ, helps balance out my cynical nature. Sometimes, they can become a bit....much. Sort of like guests who won't leave or let anyone else speak, because these two are having a good old time sippin those sweet Mint Juleps, or whatever quenches the on-air thirst.

    If those two ever want to look around for a theme song, probably royalty-free, by now, they should consider, Happy Together, by the Turtles, 1966. Ahh yes, 1966. I was there in '66, during that clammy autumn weekend when Walt Disney and Diane Linkletter died.

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  26. Geraldo is already on Cumulus stations in NY & LA. Look for him to land on KGO if this happens.

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  27. Geraldo wil absolutely be wedged in somewhere. He's "live" from 7 to 9am our time, would they run him live?
    And don't dismiss the idea of Karel's Monday through Friday show being picked up...I suspect it's cheap (although I don't know if he's fully automated it yet)!

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  28. At my age I'd much rather sleep in, take a boner pill and play all afternoon! I'll catch Rich's show so podcast.

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  29. Bernie Ward blogged about this right after the bloodbath. He predicted listeners would reject an immediate local to syndicated programming change. He said that by going to an all-news format, which would undoubtedly fail in the short-term, that listeners would actually embrace the eventual change to syndicated talk shows. I think Bernie knew exactly what he was talking about now.

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